The city of Miami Beach just celebrated its centenary in 2015 and is a Mecca for everyone who loves sun, sand and a relaxed atmosphere.
Florida is the dream destination of many northern and central Europeans. You can rely on pleasant summer temperatures there all year round. In addition, this US state on the Atlantic Ocean has a tourist infrastructure that leaves nothing to be desired. This also and especially applies to Miami Beach. This young city, which only celebrated its hundredth birthday in 2015, is the Mecca for everyone who loves sun and sand, interesting hotels and a relaxed atmosphere on vacation. All well and good, but a bit of culture can’t hurt either?
A city where every guest is welcome
No problem, Miami Beach has a lot to offer here too. From the Botanical Garden to the Jewish Museum, from Espanola Way to Casa Casuarina, there is a lot to see and do. If that is still not enough, of course one or the other day trip is worthwhile – for example to Miami.
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However, once you have arrived in Miami Beach, the desire for a day trip could also be done quickly. The legendary “South Beach” in particular has a great attraction for locals and visitors alike. Fine white sand combined with luxurious hotels in Art Deco style, plus the Atlantic Ocean and a decidedly relaxed and tolerant way of life – that definitely sounds like a holiday environment that you won’t want to leave again anytime soon. Not only do nationalities from all over the world mix in Miami Beach, different sexual preferences are also no problem here.
The city is known for welcoming gay tourists with open arms and has a correspondingly lively and interesting gay and lesbian scene. However, that’s only one facet of Miami Beach. Needless to say, straight visitors to Miami Beach are of course more than welcome. The city is also a magnet for families and vacationers who are already in the second half of their lives. They come because of the reliably warm weather and partly because of the low cost of living. In Miami Beach you can, but you don’t necessarily have to stay luxuriously. There are also a large number of smaller, very inexpensive hotels in which the guest can feel comfortable.
You can’t miss this duo: Art Deco and Ocean Drive
There is only one place in the world that has an even larger coherent Art Deco district than Miami Beach and that is Napier, New Zealand. Otherwise, Miami Beach can claim to be the architectural capital of Art Deco. Because in addition to the structural crown jewels, which are located in the approximately two and a half square kilometers large listed zone “Miami Beach Architectural District”, there are also a lot of comparable buildings outside this narrow area. They all emerged in the thirties and forties of the last century and in the meantime – it is hard to believe – should even be torn down. But a very active citizens’ initiative was able to prevent this. The remarkable results are almost 1000 historically valuable buildings, located between Alton Road, 5th Street, Collins Canal and the Atlantic Ocean. The most famous street in Miami Beach, Ocean Drive, runs right through it. One sees and is seen on this promenade. By the way, you can also shop there, go out to eat or just drink a cocktail. If you haven’t strolled up and down Ocean Drive, you haven’t been to Miami Beach.
What else is there to see
Beach life (checklist for a beach vacation) in Miami Beach preferably takes place on South Beach. There even women are tolerated who lie “topless” in the sun; this is otherwise downright frowned upon in the USA and often even really prohibited. North of 5th Street, visitors can immerse themselves in everyday Jewish life. Here is the heart of the large Jewish community with its synagogues, shops and kosher restaurants. If you want to learn more about Judaism, pay a visit to the Jewish Museum (Jewish Museum of Florida, 301 Washington Avenue, South Beach). Admission is free.
That cannot be said of the “Casa Casuarina” (1116 Ocean Drive). The fashion czar Gianni Versace once lived in this white villa. The opulently furnished house became famous rather for the fact that Versace was shot on the stairs to the entrance. Today the building serves as an absolute luxury hotel to which only private members of an elite club have access. Ordinary mortals can join a guided tour through the splendor. Cost: just under $ 70. By the way, even a very big bank account is not enough to become a member of the hotel club. To do this, you need a recommendation from an existing member.
Almost US $ 20 and proof of being at least 18 years old are enough to pay a visit to the World Erotic Art Museum (1205 Washington Avenue). The house is home to over 4,000 pieces of art that are all about one theme, sex.
Get hungry? Then the Espanola Way is recommended. Fantastic ethnic food is served in this car-free zone.